Jarnail Singh (referee)

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Jarnail Singh
Jarnail Singh.jpg
Jarnail Singh
Full name Jarnail Singh
Born (1962-02-05) 5 February 1962 (age 55)
Punjab, India
Other occupation Metropolitan Police worker
Years League Role
? –2004 Conference South Referee
1999–2004 Football League Asst. referee
2004–2010 Football League Referee

Jarnail Singh (born 5 February 1962[1] in India)[2] is a retired English association football referee of Indian descent who officiated in the Football League. He moved to Wolverhampton, West Midlands, at a young age, and now lives in Hounslow, Greater London.[3] He has a full-time occupation in the Metropolitan Police in London.[2] Singh is also an ambassador for the Football Association.[4] He was the first Sikh to be an English Football referee.[5]


Singh took up refereeing in 1985,[1] after taking his exam in order to improve his frequent outings as club linesman for the youth team he managed.[2] He progressed through lower leagues in the Wolverhampton area and then into the Conference South regionally,[6] before being appointed as a Football League assistant referee in 1999. Whilst still a Conference referee, he was put in charge of an FA Vase semi-final first leg tie, between Oadby Town and Brigg Town on 22 March 2003,[7] and, shortly before his elevation to Football League referee for the 2004-05 season,[1] he was appointed to the middle for the Football Conference Playoff semi-final first leg between Aldershot Town and Hereford United on 29 April 2004.[8]

His first match after his promotion was the Football League Two encounter between Bristol Rovers and Bury at the Memorial Stadium on 10 August 2004, in which he sent off Colin Woodthorpe of Bury in the 65th minute.[9]

His final match before retirement was on 1 May 2010, refereeing a League One game between Yeovil Town versus Oldham Athletic at Huish Park in Yeovil. Before the match he was unusually signing autographs and having photos taken with fans.

He has refereed at international level taking charge of a friendly game between China and UAE in October 2011.[10]

As a role model, The FA acknowledged the importance of his visibility.[11] In 2012, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the first Asian Football Awards supported by the Football Association and the anti-discrimination organisation, Kick It Out.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Singh is employed by the Metropolitan Police as a Police Community Support Officer in London, and is married with two children, Sunny and Bhupsy Gill, who are now also qualified referees looking to follow in their father's footsteps.[13]


  1. ^ a b c Profile Archived 17 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.: The Football League official website. Retrieved on 24 March 2008
  2. ^ a b c Other biographical detail: from an interview at the Football League official website. Retrieved on 24 March 2008
  3. ^ Place of residence confirmation (Hounslow): SoccerFactsUK.co.uk website. Retrieved on 24 March 2008
  4. ^ "Case Studies - Jarnail Singh". www.asianfootballnetwork.ork.uk. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Sikhs in other sports & countries never told to remove turbans". Times of India. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Conference South referee, until 2004 season: soccerbase.com website. Retrieved on 24 March 2008.
  7. ^ FA Vase semi-final first leg, 2003: soccerbase.com website. Retrieved on 24 March 2008.
  8. ^ Football Conference Playoff semi-final first leg, 2004: soccerbase.com website. Retrieved on 24 March 2008.
  9. ^ First ever Football League match as referee, Bristol Rovers v. Bury, 2004: soccerbase.com website. Retrieved on 24 March 2008.
  10. ^ "Jarnail Singh". www.worldfootball.net. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Culture, Media and Sport Committee - Racism in Football. Written evidence submitted by The Football Association (The FA)". http://www.publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 30 March 2015.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  12. ^ "Asian stars rewarded at Wembley" (Press release). The Football Association. 5 August 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  13. ^ refworld.com

External links[edit]